Patrons pick through piles of produce at the Phillippi Farmhouse Market in Sarasota County


The sustainable agriculture program focuses on providing education and demonstrations that promote the ecological use of resources and to develop direct marketing opportunities for Sarasota County's agricultural producers. This information is based on the best management practices for sustainable agricultural production that supports producers to achieve economic viability, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility. The Program also provides information to Sarasota County residents on agricultural awareness and local food system.

Learn more about sustainable agriculture with a free, online course from the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. The course provides a basic understanding of sustainable agriculture and some of the "systems" approaches associated with it. The course is designed for farmers – from beginners to experienced agricultural producers – interested in transitioning to more sustainable practices. If you are a consumer or part of the allied industries, it will describe its goals and its relevance to your local food system; that is, from farm to plate. To start your education about sustainable agriculture, visit


The science of agroecology researches practices to achieve the goals of sustainable agriculture. Agroecology is the application of ecology to the design and management of a whole-system approach to agriculture and food systems development. It is based on traditional knowledge, alternative agriculture, and local food system experiences that link ecology, culture, economics, and society to sustain agricultural production, healthy environments, and viable food and farming communities. For more details about agroecology see the following PDF files:


2017 USDA ag census begins in December

Hi. I am Dr. Robert Kluson, the Extension agriculture agent of Sarasota County. I’m joining all my colleagues at UF/IFAS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to encourage every producer in Sarasota County to respond to the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Collected every five years, the census is the only source of comprehensive and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation. Those who serve farmers, ranchers and rural


USDA workshops: Hurricane Irma recovery

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will be hosting disaster assistance and hurricane recovery workshops in Florida over the next few weeks. Representatives from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency will present information about the help available for farmers and ranchers affected by Hurricane Irma, according to a news release. Those presenting will address the assistance and programs available and the


Apply for USDA natural resources aid by Nov. 17

Agricultural landowners face a closing window to receive financial and technical aid to help protect natural resources. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has noted that applications for assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program will close Nov. 17, to receive funding for fiscal year 2018. Read the full release: Sept. 20, 2017 GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida farmers, ranchers and forest owners can apply